Semi-Homemade Holiday Premieres December 15

My daughters who are 10 and 8 absolutely love Sandra Lee, internationally-acclaimed home and food expert and host of the Emmy-nominated Food Network series, Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee. They appreciate her creativity and the tablescapes she creates. And then they make their own make-believe tablescapes. It’s fun to see.

They’ll be happy to know that Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Holiday Primetime TV Special premiers on Food Network on December 15, 2008 at 8 PM.

The star of the Emmy-nominated Food Network show, Semi-Homemade Cooking, will share her favorite holiday recipes and entertaining tips that will bring warmth to a home. The “Popular Princess of Presentation” will reveal quick tips and recipes to help anyone enjoy the season while mixing and mingling under the mistletoe instead of being held captive in the kitchen. Using her trademark Semi-Homemade 70/30 concept, preparing meals with 70% store bought product and 30% fresh ingredients, Sandra will make it possible for anyone to create a holiday menu in minutes that looks and tastes like it was created completely from scratch.

On the Net: www.semihomemade.com

Source: Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade

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Halloween Cupcakes

We found the most delightful blog, All Things Cupcake, which is a blog about — you guessed it — cupcakes!

Remember years ago in school when we used to devour sugary sweet cupcakes at our holiday celebrations? We hear parents don’t like cupckaes in school much anymore these days to which we say, ” Lighten up. It’s just a freakin’ cupcake. No kid we know has ever tipped the scales after eating one or two cupcakes.”

Now, where were we? Yes, cupcakes.

Halloween cupcakes are a delight to decorate because there is so much you can do with them, from topping them with candy like candy corn and Tootsie Rolls to decorating them with special, spooky toppers. All Things Cupcake linked to cupcake stencils on MarthaStewartCrafts.com which we think is an awesome find. Go there if you’re making Halloween cupcakes at your house.

We found a video of how to make Halloween cupcakes from Food Network here and more Halloween ideas you can throw a stick at on FamilyFun.com.

Fall Foods

Fall is undoubtedly the most anticipated delightful season where we have festive family get-togethers and can indulge in some of the comfort foods we remember as children. Lot of spices and smells abound during this season. It’s our favorite. We’ve found amazing gourmet fall foods from Crate and Barrell that taste wonderful and won’t break the bank.

Gourmet Cobbler Kit: When it’s time to prep the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner it’s always nice to have all the spices you need in one place because if you buy the spices separately invariably you miss one, or two, or three.

Crate and Barrel has a Gourbet Gobbler Kit ($14.95) for cooks like me who always wind up forgetting something in the hustle and bustle of buying the makings for Thanksgiving dinner. What’s inside: Brine contains salt, sugar, orange peel, spices, juniper berries, shallots and pink peppercorns; Rub contains salt, thyme, savory, sugar, onion, lemon pepper, peppercorns, garlic, rosemary, parsley flakes and marjoram; Brines up to a 20-pound turkey.

Perfect Potatoes Seasoning ($4.95): Make a perfectly seasoned batch of potatoes with Crate and Barrell’s Perfect Potatoes Seasoning. Contains leeks, shallots, and garlic. Yum!

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